Monday, December 23

Violet Survived The Titanic Sinking And Three Other Ship Disasters

Violet Jessop
Violet Jessop
It's strange how some people seem to be drawn into similar situations over and over again, almost like there is some lesson to be learned. Take Violet Jessop for example.

Violet Jessop was a crew member on the Titanic and was one of the 'lucky' ones, she survived - but Violet was actually three times lucky as she also survived two other shipping disasters as well.

Firstly though, her experience with the Titanic, she wrote:

"I was ordered up on deck. Calmly, passengers strolled about. I stood at the bulkhead with the other stewardesses, watching the women cling to their husbands before being put into the boats with their children. Some time after, a ship's officer ordered us into the boat first to show some women it was safe. As the boat was being lowered the officer called: 'Here, Miss Jessop. Look after this baby.' And a bundle was dropped on to my lap."

After eight hours in the boat Violet and the others were picked up by the Carpathia:

"I was still clutching the baby against my hard cork lifebelt I was wearing when a woman leaped at me and grabbed the baby, and rushed off with it. It appeared that she put it down on the deck of the Titanic while she went off to fetch something, and when she came back the baby had gone. I was too frozen and numb to think it strange that this woman had not stopped to say 'thank you'."

Violet was also on Titanic's sister ship the Olympic when it had it's collision. To quote Wikipedia:

The Olympic's major mishap occurred on her fifth voyage on 20 September 1911, when she collided with a British warship, HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight.

The collision took place as Olympic and Hawke were running parallel to each other through the Solent. As Olympic turned to starboard, the wide radius of her turn took the commander of the Hawke by surprise, and he was unable to take sufficient avoiding action.

The Hawke's bow, which had been designed to sink ships by ramming them, collided with Olympic's starboard side near the stern, tearing two large holes in Olympic's hull, below and above the waterline respectively, resulting in the flooding of two of her watertight compartments and a twisted propeller shaft. HMS Hawke suffered severe damage to her bow and nearly capsized.

Sister ships the Olympic and Titanic seen together at Thomson Graving Dock in Belfast
Sister ships the Olympic and Titanic together at Thomson Graving Dock, Belfast
The third disaster for Violet was aboard the HMHS Britannic, which was also a sister ship to the Olympic and the Titanic.

The Olympic hit problems on the 21st of November 1916 when it is believed she was hit by a torpedo. After a struggle the ship sunk in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece. The wreck was first investigated by Jacques Cousteau in 1975. There have been various explorations of the wreck over the past 30+ years.

Violet attributed her rescue from the sinking of the Britannic to her thick auburn hair. She said of her escape:

"I leapt into the water but was sucked under the ship's keel which struck my head. I escaped, but years later when I went to my doctor because of a lot of headaches, he discovered I had once sustained a fracture of the skull."

So why did Violet Jessop have to experience three ship collisions? I guess it depends on what you believe about life and why we are here.

Reference: Titanic Survivor: The Memoirs Of Violet Jessop Stewardess

Other Posts On A Similar Theme:
Titanic Coincidences
Position Of The Sun And Moon Caused Titanic To Sink
Titanic Pictures, Posts And Stories

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  1. Patterns like these are fascinating. Her "destiny" certainly seemed to be tied to stinking ships. If I had survived the sinking of the Titanic, I doubt if I would have ever gotten on another ship!

  2. Suzie17:52

    If I was on one ship that sunk I don't think I'd ever go on one again. A brave woman. Times were different back then.